Bernard Dompok receives appointment letter as ambassador to Vatican

Dompok (third from left) in traditional Kadazandusun costume.

Dompok (third from left) in traditional Kadazandusun costume.

PETALING JAYA: Former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok (pic) is set to assume his duties as the country’s first ambassador to the Vatican after receiving his letter of appointment on Thursday morning.

He was among seven new heads of mission of Malaysia who received their credentials from Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah at Istana Negara.

Dompok was Sabah chief minister from 1998 to 1999 and later held Cabinet positions as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister.

He was described by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman in October last year as the “right choice” for the job as he had previously led the Malaysian delegation on official visits to the Vatican.

Meanwhile, former Cabinet member Datuk Seri Hasan Malek was appointed ambassador  to Cambodia, replacing Datuk Raszlan Abdul Rashid, who had held the post since 2013.

Hasan, who is Kuala Pilah MP, was dropped as Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister in a Cabinet reshuffle last July.

Other fresh appointments included Datuk Ilango Karuppanan, who becomes High Commissioner to Singapore; Wan Zaidi Wan Abdullah as High Commissioner to Sri Lanka; Shahril Effendy Abd Ghany (Oman); Datuk Ayauf Bachi (Ukraine); and Datuk Ahmad Fadil Samsudin (Poland).

Bernard Dompok , Vatican , Ambassador